Mario Bava

Mario Bava

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Mario Bava

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Mario Bava (July 31, 1914 – April 25, 1980) was an Italian director, screenwriter, and cinematographer remembered as one of the greatest names from the "golden age" of Italian horror films.


Mario Bava was born in Sanremo, Liguria, Italy. The son of Eugenio Bava, a sculptor who became a pioneer of special effects photography and subsequently one of the great cameramen of Italian silent pictures, Mario Bava's first ambition was to become a painter. Unable to turn out paintings at a profitable rate, he went into his father's business, working as an assistant to other Italian cinematographers like Massimo Terzano, while also offering assistance to his father who headed the special effects department at Benito Mussolini's film factory, the Istituto LUCE.

Bava became a cinematographer in his own right in 1939, shooting two short films with Roberto Rossellini. He made his feature debut in the early 1940s. Bava's camerawork was an instrumental factor in developing the screen personas of such stars of the period as Gina Lollobrigida, Steve Reeves and Aldo Fabrizi.

Bava co-directed his first genre film in 1958: Le morte viene dallo spazio (The Day the Sky Exploded), the first Italian science fiction film. Because he had no earlier credited experience as a director, it was credited solely to Paolo Heusch. In 1959, Bava co-directed Caltiki, The Immortal Monster with Riccardo Freda. In 1960, he directed Black Sunday, which made a star out of Barbara Steele. His...
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